Monday, March 28, 2011

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume IV, Issue XII

Welcome to our 125th edition of the FDH Fantasy Newsletter, as we continue to bring you weekly fantasy sports updates in addition to our usual content on Our archive of past editions is available right here on The Blog and specific links to past editions are available at

This week, we bring you last-minute baseball draft/auction tips from FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris. Also, don’t forget the most important element to your draft/auction success, the FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2011 guide.

Last-Minute Baseball Draft/Auction Tips from FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris

At the end of any draft prep season, I always like to bring the focus back to the basics. Having had the auction for my keeper league on Saturday and the draft for my non-keeper league next Saturday, I can mix in my own perspectives to make my points even clearer.

^ Above all, stay focused on value above all else. You win by squeezing value more effectively than anyone else, period. It’s repetitive on our part, but I make no apologies for that, because it’s the sole non-negotiable element of your draft prep and it’s something that far too many people lose sight of at the worst times. Now, for those who are looking to scratch an excitement itch or don the wheeler-dealer garb, this may not be fun and fulfilling. As for me, I get my fun and fulfillment from winning (12-team mixed non-keeper league title last year, 20-team mixed keeper league title the year before). Hopefully it’s not seen as a jerk move to drop those credentials, because there is a point here. Even with the ’09 title, even being the one person in the league actively participating in the fantasy industry via the FDH brand, I was delighted to see on Saturday that I can still lurk in the weeds because my moves are boring and decidedly un-flashy relative to many of my competitors. And frankly, if I can still lurk at this point and not have the target on me that my flashier league-mates do, then I’ll always be able to since I will never change the playbook. Advantage, me. Let others try the attention-grabbing attempts to reinvent the wheel. Steady wins the race.

^ The previous point is not to suggest abandoning all efforts to find more effective means of accomplishing your goals – just to keep value in mind when doing so. I’ll furnish another example from Saturday’s auction. Top minor league players in our league get picked over well before they first make the bigs, due to the fact that you can hang on to them for up to 10 years with our format – which calls for five auction rounds, followed by a straight draft in which players can be procured for only $1. In recent years, not only are the top prospects snarfed up even before their minor league peaks in the draft rounds, they are also subject in many instances to insane bidding in the auction rounds. Truly, it is difficult to carry a player for a few years at $20 or above before they even make their major league debut, so I have tried at all costs to avoid this necessity. Although I tried to get some top minor league players in the draft rounds on Saturday, I was unsuccessful – so I went all-in on a strategy I have dabbled in before: I took five prospects who will be in this June’s draft, four college players and one high-school baller. Will they all pan out? Probably not; the burn rate on prospects is significant. But they’ve all got high ceilings and they won’t cost me an arm and a leg if I have to cut them. This was the kind of creativity we endorse.

^ Think about the specifics of your situation ahead of time as much as you can, not merely the league rules and parameters (one would hope you don’t need me to drill that part into your heads!), but any other relevant features. In the case of my auction, I familiarized myself with not only my cap number and needs going into Saturday, but those of all of my leaguemates so that I would know who my biggest threats were for the holes I had to fill. For this Saturday’s draft, my co-owner and I are able to spend the week contemplating the realities of our draft position (7 – and on a personal note, I really hate being 6th or 7th in a 12-team league since you can’t anticipate your next pick very well and that just bothers me) and the players most likely to drop to us in the early rounds. Look at the possibilities (including tendencies of your fellow owners, which I know very well in both of my leagues from many years of jousting with them) and just spend some time picking apart some options from different angles. For example, it’s no secret that FDH is higher on Tulow than most in the industry this year. He was critical to our title last year and given our competitors’ tendencies, we feel that we have a good shot to get him at 7. If we do, then we fill a need at the shallowest position and move on from there. If not, we’ll go with a Plan B or Plan C that we hatch during the week. Ruminate on all the angles. You wouldn’t be playing this game if you didn’t love it. Enjoy – and go take some caysh from your friends!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume IV, Issue XI

Welcome to our 124th edition of the FDH Fantasy Newsletter, as we continue to bring you weekly fantasy sports updates in addition to our usual content on Our archive of past editions is available right here on The Blog and specific links to past editions are available at

This week, we serialize more features from our huge FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2011 guide.

2010 Legitimate Breakthroughs/Reclamation Cases

NOTE: These players all reached another level last year, whatever level that may be, and should be considered “for real.”

C: Buster Posey, Carlos Santana

1B: Mitch Moreland, Buster Posey

2B: Martin Prado

SS: none

3B: Martin Prado

OF: Carlos Gonzalez, Martin Prado, Michael Stanton, Drew Stubbs, Delmon Young

SP: Brett Anderson, Daniel Hudson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Mat Latos, David Price

CL: Neftali Feliz, Carlos Marmol, Chris Perez, Brian Wilson

2011 Fantasy Overview

^ The proclamation that “2010 was the year of the pitcher” meant that value on the top pitchers was down relative to what it was in the previous few seasons. While those with great heaters still have value (see below), the almost-tripling of legit aces in the game in the past three years has lowered the worth relative to other positions proportionately.

^ Two trends that we’ve been monitoring over recent seasons continued to materialize in 2010. The first is the narrowing ratio between home runs and stolen bases. Taters will always be more plentiful than steals, but the gap between the two is narrowing, meaning that power is SLIGHTLY more valuable relative to speed compared to the height of the steroid era. Speed still has value, elite speed much more value, but it’s harder to make tradeoffs than it used to be, especially for players at traditional power positions like Chone Figgins, Jacoby Ellsbury and Ichiro. Shockingly, the fantasy baseball industry has yet to catch up to this truism, such that the most important note about the present landscape that you need to know entering your draft is this: SPEED IS VASTLY OVERVALUED!

^ The second trend that continues is the rising number of strikeouts per game almost each season recently. We predicted back in 2006 that with MLB’s implementation of amphetamine testing that elite heat would take on more value because players no longer able to “bean up” to play would not be catching up to it, especially in the dog days of summer. Strikeout numbers are more important than ever for big-time pitchers and your team needs to reflect this trend. Pitchers who are largely dependent on the defense behind them are suffering in this climate. As FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris said awhile back on THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER (Tuesdays, 9:30-10 PM EST on “You cannot be an ace if your best pitch is the ‘I hope he hits it right at someone’ pitch.’”

^ The middle infield and catcher positions tend to be lumped together in terms of relative scarcity from year to year, but of course no two seasons are completely alike and the availability of desirable starters at each position will vary from year to year. In 2009, we labeled the pool of starting-caliber shortstops “as deep as any of these positions have seen in recent memory.” What a difference two years makes! The position is more pathetic than it has been at any point since the emergence of the ARod/Nomah/Jeter emergence in 1996-97. Second base and catcher both have decent depth and as such, Hanley and Tulow have supremely inflated value in this climate — as do the few other starting-caliber shortstops relative to the second base crop.

^ Balance continues to be a key watchword for fantasy success in 2011, especially in roto-based leagues. With few obvious exceptions such as the speed-challenged Miguel Cabrera, hitters who deliver no value in any of the standard fantasy categories should take a back seat to other, more well-rounded contributors. If it becomes necessary to “sell out” to pick up a player in the middle-to-later rounds with good value but who is lacking in a few categories, try to find pick up their “offset twin” – a player with mirror-image strengths and weaknesses. A few possibilities would include Carlos Pena/Ichiro and James Loney/Mark Reynolds (an actual combination of players owned for $1 apiece in a 20-team, long-term keeper league by FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris).

Don’t Be That Guy

^ Don’t Be That Guy who forgets that power is the true separator at catcher, not batting average…

^ Don’t Be That Guy who overvalues unlikely 2010 success stories like CJ Wilson. It’s a new year – pay for what you get this year.

^ Don’t Be That Guy who sleeps on (or holds unhealthy grudges against) last year’s falloffs. Bargain shopping in the middle & late rounds can bring you a championship. So don’t hate on Matt Kemp!

^ Don’t Be That Guy who enters the draft or auction with ironclad gimmicks. Rotisserie category “punting”! Only $1 apiece for all pitchers on the roster! All younger or all “proven” talent! The fact is that inflexible doctrines lead to failure, while nimble, think-on-your-feet reactive ability brings great success. Choose the latter approach and thank us when you’re hoisting your trophy at the end of the year.

^ Don’t Be That Guy who doesn’t fully understand the nuances of your league’s scoring system. Be fully prepared! Your choice of this draft guide is, frankly, an awesome start!

Suggested League Guidelines

Unless you are a first-time participant, you have either played rotisserie baseball (a game in which players accrue points based on their performance in different categories) or fantasy baseball (a game in which different achievements earn various amounts of points). Here are our recommended formats for each (keeping in mind that for each format, if you have less than 10 owners, you should utilize a single-league format — and regardless of anything else, use a $100 Free Agent Acquisition Budget, or FAAB, to allow for distribution of players):

^ Rotisserie baseball: We urge you to use the standard 5X5 setup, in which BA, HR, SB, Runs and RBI are used for hitters and Wins, Saves, WHIP, ERA and Ks are used for pitchers (4X4 leagues drop Runs and Ks). For example, if you are in a 12-team league, the team scoring highest in each category earns 12 points, on down to the lowest team earning 1 point. Rotisserie baseball is traditionally associated more with the auction format, which works well here. Each player is given $260 of figurative money to purchase 23 players (2C, 1 1B, 1 2B, 1 SS, 1 3B, 5 OF, 1 CI, 1 MI, 1 Utility, 7 SP, 2 RP), with a 5-round standard serpentine draft afterwards to fill out a taxi squad.

^ Rotisserie/fantasy hybrid: This is probably our favorite form of competition, because it combines the traditional roto style with head-to-head play. Each week, you play against an opponent, competing in roto categories, with the winner of the most categories taking the victory (a tiebreaking category is established as a backup). Either an auction or the standard serpentine draft format works here.

^ Fantasy baseball: These categories should be used, with the number of points awarded for each in parentheses: Single (1), Double (2), Triple (3), HR (4), Hitter K (-1), Run (1), RBI (1), SB (1), Win (10), Save (5), IP– ER (1), K (1). For this format, a standard serpentine draft is preferred.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume IV, Issue X

Welcome to our 123rd edition of the FDH Fantasy Newsletter, as we continue to bring you weekly fantasy sports updates in addition to our usual content on Our archive of past editions is available right here on The Blog and specific links to past editions are available at

This week, we bring you our college hoops bracket draft guidelines, draft board and the bracket for FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris.

College Hoops Bracket Draft

It's that time of year again as FDH brings you our college hoops bracket draft.

First, here's the guidelines:
^ 2 points for an opening-round win
^ 4 points for a second-round win
^ 6 points for a third-round win
^ 8 points for a regional championship win
^ 10 points for winning a national semifinal game
^ 12 points for winning the national championship

Also, there are bonus points for having lower seeds win:
^ 2 points for each win by a team seeded 5th through 9th in a region
^ 5 points for each win by a team seeded 10th through 16th in a region

We recommend a six-team draft with a nine-round standard serpentine draft.

College Hoops Bracket Draft Board


1 Kansas

2 Ohio State

3 Florida

4 UConn

5 Duke

6 Notre Dame

7 Purdue

8 Syracuse

9 North Carolina

10 Utah State

11 Pittsburgh


12 San Diego State

13 Kentucky

14 Texas

15 Kansas State

16 Gonzaga

17 Louisville


18 Michigan State

19 Butler

20 BYU

21 Xavier

22 Vanderbilt

23 St. John’s

24 West Virginia

25 Belmont

26 Arizona

27 George Mason

28 Wisconsin

29 Penn State

30 Illinois

31 Missouri

32 Georgetown

33 Temple

34 Texas A&M

35 Washington


37 Old Dominion

38 Georgia

39 Villanova

40 Florida State

41 Cincinnati

42 Tennessee

43 Michigan

44 Marquette


FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris’ Bracket



1 Ohio State over 16 UTSA or Alabama State

8 George Mason over 9 Villanova

5 West Virginia over 12 UAB or Clemson

4 Kentucky over 13 Princeton

6 Xavier over 11 Marquette

3 Syracuse over 14 Indiana State

7 Washington over 10 Georgia

2 North Carolina over 15 Long Island


1 Ohio State over 8 George Mason

4 Kentucky over 5 West Virginia

3 Syracuse over 6 Xavier

2 North Carolina over 7 Washington


1 Ohio State over 4 Kentucky

3 Syracuse over 2 North Carolina


1 Ohio State over 3 Syracuse



1 Duke over 16 Hampton

9 Tennessee over 8 Michigan

5 Arizona over 12 Memphis

4 Texas over 13 Oakland

11 Missouri over 6 Cincinnati

3 UConn over 14 Bucknell

10 Penn State over 7 Temple

2 San Diego State over 15 Northern Colorado


1 Duke over 9 Tennessee

4 Texas over 5 Arizona

3 UConn over 11 Missouri

2 San Diego State over 10 Penn State


1 Duke over 4 Texas

3 UConn over 2 San Diego State


3 UConn over 1 Duke



1 Kansas over 16 Boston U

9 Illinois over 8 UNLV

5 Vanderbilt over 12 Richmond

4 Louisville over 13 Morehead State

6 Georgetown over 11 USC/VCU

3 Purdue over 14 St. Peter’s

7 Texas A&M over 10 Florida State

2 Notre Dame over 15 Akron


1 Kansas over 9 Illinois

4 Louisville over 5 Vanderbilt

3 Purdue over 6 Georgetown

2 Notre Dame over 7 Texas A&M


1 Kansas over 4 Louisville

2 Notre Dame over 3 Purdue


1 Kansas over 2 Notre Dame



1 Pittsburgh over 16 UNC-Asheville or Arkansas-Little Rock

8 Butler over 9 Old Dominion

12 Utah State over 5 Kansas State

13 Belmont over 5 Wisconsin

11 Gonzaga over 6 St. John’s

3 BYU over 14 Wofford

10 Michigan State over 7 UCLA

2 Florida over 15 UCSB


1 Pittsburgh over 8 Butler

12 Utah State over 13 Belmont

11 Gonzaga over 3 BYU

2 Florida over 15 UCSB


12 Utah State over 1 Pittsburgh

2 Florida over 11 Gonzaga


2 Florida over 12 Utah State


Ohio State over UConn

Kansas over Florida


Kansas over Ohio State


Here it is! FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2011, your must-have draft guide from The 21st Century Media Alliance, is now in your hands when you click this link!

Here’s the Table of Contents for our huge fantasy – and non-fantasy baseball annual:

Page 1: Draft Philosophy Overview, Top 72 Overall

Page 2: Starting Pitcher Rankings, Draft Board Decoder, Lessons of “The Stat”

Page 3: Starting Pitcher Rankings Cont’, 2011 Don’t Be That Guy

Page 4: Starting Pitcher Rankings Cont’, Relief Pitcher Rankings, 2011 Sleepers

Page 5: Catcher Rankings, 2011 Overvalued, 2011 Undervalued

Page 6: First Base Rankings

Page 7: Second Base Rankings, Designated Hitter Rankings

Page 8: Shortstop Rankings, 2011 Prospect Rankings, Long-Term Keeper Prospect Rankings

Page 9: 2011 AL & NL Scarcity, 2011 Players With a Wide Range of Opinion

Page 10: Respect Mah Eligibilitah!

Page 11: Third Base Rankings, Suggested League Guidelines

Pages 12-13: Outfield Rankings

Pages 14-17: 2011 Mock Draft and Analysis

Pages 18-19: Dollar Bin Players

Page 20: Product Preview: 2011 Topps Heritage Baseball

Page 21: FDH Standings/Awards Predictions for 2011 MLB, FDH Minor League System Rankings

Page 22: 2011 Fantasy Overview, 2010 Legitimate Breakthroughs/Reclamation Cases

Monday, March 07, 2011

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume IV, Issue IX

Welcome to our 122nd edition of the FDH Fantasy Newsletter, as we continue to bring you weekly fantasy sports updates in addition to our usual content on Our archive of past editions is available right here on The Blog and specific links to past editions are available at

This week, we bring you our preview of FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2011.


NOTE: These are some of the features to be contained in our annual fantasy baseball guide, which will be released March 11 on


C: JP Arencibia, John Jaso

1B: Freddie Freeman, Adam Lind, Mitch Moreland

2B: Gordon Beckham, Sean Rodriguez

SS: Ian Desmond, JJ Hardy

3B: Pedro Alvarez, Chipper Jones, Pablo Sandoval, Danny Valencia

OF: Carlos Beltran, Tyler Colvin, BJ Upton, Will Venable

SP: Josh Beckett, Brett Cecil, Jhoulys Chacin, Jeremy Hellickson, Daniel Hudson, John Lackey, James McDonald, Brandon Morrow, Ricky Nolasco, Jake Peavy, Tim Stauffer, Brandon Webb, Travis Wood

CL: John Axford, Drew Storen


C: Russell Martin, Yadier Molina

1B: Derrek Lee

2B: Howie Kendrick

SS: Elvis Andrus, Astrubal Cabrera, Starlin Castro, Marco Scutaro

3B: Chase Headley, Michael Young

OF: Jacoby Ellsbury, Ichiro, Nick Markakis, Andrew McCutchen, Nick Swisher, Shane Victorino

SP: Jaime Garcia, Phil Hughes, Hiroki Kuroda, Colby Lewis

CL: none


C: JP Arencibia, John Jaso

1B: Mitch Moreland, Mike Napoli

2B: Gordon Beckham, Juan Uribe

SS: JJ Hardy, Juan Uribe

3B: Danny Valencia

OF: Jose Bautista, Rajai Davis, Aubrey Huff, Carlos Lee, Carlos Quentin

SP: Madison Bumgarner, Jhoulys Chacin, RA Dickey, Jeremy Hellickson, Daniel Hudson, John Lackey, Jake Peavy

CL: Carlos Marmol, Joe Nathan


1 Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Tampa Bay

2 Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta

3 Brandon Belt, 1B, San Francisco

4 Desmond Jennings, OF, Tampa Bay

5 Domonic Brown, OF, Philadelphia

6 Kyle Drabek, RHP, Toronto

7 Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Cincinnati

8 Chris Sale, LHP, Chicago White Sox

9 Jesus Montero, C, NY Yankees

10 Mike Moustakas, 3B, Kansas City

11 Jenrry Mejia, RHP, NY Mets

12 Mark Rogers, RHP, Milwaukee

13 Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland

14 Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Cleveland

15 Alex White, RHP, Cleveland


[NOTE: The following players are starting-caliber fantasy performers worth more in single-league formats because of a relative scarcity of talent at that position.]

C: Brian McCann, Buster Posey

1B: Buster Posey (worth more only because of the C situation)

2B: Brandon Phillips, Martin Prado, Dan Uggla, Chase Utley, Rickie Weeks

SS: Derek Jeter

3B: Martin Prado (worth more only because of the 2B situation), Evan Longoria, Aramis Ramirez

OF: Jose Bautista, Shin-Soo Choo, Carl Crawford, Nelson Cruz, Rajai Davis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Aubrey Huff, Josh Hamilton, Juan Pierre, Martin Prado (worth more only because of the 2B situation), Carlos Quentin, Alex Rios, BJ Upton, Delmon Young

SP: Brett Anderson, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Trevor Cahill, John Danks, Brian Duensing, Gio Gonzalez, Tommy Hanson, Dan Haren, Jeremy Hellickson, Felix Hernandez, Phil Hughes, John Lackey, Francisco Liriano, Brian Matusz, Brandon Morrow, Jake Peavy, David Price, Ricky Romero, CC Sabathia, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver

CL: Andrew Bailey, Neftali Feliz, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, Chris Perez, Mariano Rivera, Joakim Soria, Jose Valverde


[NOTE: Our Experts’ Draft Board is a compilation of other draft boards from major magazines and websites in the industry. These players had a wide disparity between their highest and lowest rankings in the survey.]

C: JP Arencibia (12 to 28), John Buck (10 to 21), Ryan Doumit (13 to 33), Nick Hundley (17 to 38), Jonathan Lucroy (21 to 38), Miguel Montero (7 to 19), Miguel Olivo (15 to 26), Yadier Molina (10 to 27), John Jaso (15 to 27), AJ Pierzynski (12 to 23), Jorge Posada (8 to 19), Chris Snyder (18 to 34)

1B: Daric Barton (24 to 36), Lance Berkman (24 to 39), Billy Butler (8 to 20), Ike Davis (14 to 27), Freddie Freeman (17 to 32), Garrett Jones (18 to 32), Adam LaRoche (17 to 29), Mitch Moreland (18 to 33), Mike Napoli (14 to 29), Carlos Pena (15 to 27)

2B: Sean Rodriguez (16 to 29), Ryan Theriot (17 to 28)

SS: Yuniesky Betancourt (16 to 26), Orlando Cabrera (18 to 34), JJ Hardy (15 to 30), Ryan Theriot (16 to 26), Juan Uribe (14 to 24)

3B: Alberto Callaspo (17 to 30), Edwin Encarnacion (17 to 36), Chris Johnson (16 to 31), Chipper Jones (19 to 29), Miguel Tejada (17 to 28), Danny Valencia (14 to 33), Ty Wigginton (21 to 32)

OF: Jose Bautista (9 to 40), Carlos Beltran (38 to 58), Michael Bourn (26 to 47), Chris Coghlan (52 to 75), Rajai Davis (36 to 68), Jacoby Ellsbury (11 to 39), Corey Hart (18 to 38), Austin Jackson (21 to 62), Adam Jones (23 to 45), Jason Kubel (45 to 65), Nick Markakis (16 to 41), Nate McLouth (51 to 92), Nyjer Morgan (50 to 76), Juan Pierre (27 to 49), Alex Rios (8 to 29), Grady Sizemore (22 to 43), Denard Span (26 to 67), Michael Stanton (20 to 45), Nick Swisher (20 to 44), Jose Tabata (43 to 67)

SP: Bronson Arroyo (33 to 69), Josh Beckett (30 to 50), Trevor Cahill (25 to 72), Jhoulys Chacin (36 to 66), Johnny Cueto (39 to 64), Ryan Dempster (45 to 60), RA Dickey (53 to 100), Matt Garza (28 to 53), Gio Gonzalez (28 to 78), Jeremy Guthrie (41 to 96), Daniel Hudson (26 to 73), Phil Hughes (26 to 49), Hiroki Kuroda (31 to 55), Colby Lewis (33 to 54), Shaun Marcum (25 to 54), Brian Matusz (28 to 57), Wandy Rodriguez (24 to 51), Ricky Romero (29 to 59), Ervin Santana (48 to 74), Johan Santana (45 to 86), Tim Stauffer (64 to 85), CJ Wilson (40 to 68), Randy Wolf (58 to 107), Travis Wood (46 to 91), Carlos Zambrano (51 to 83)

CL: Jonathan Broxton (5 to 19), Matt Capps (15 to 45), Francisco Cordero (11 to 29), Brad Lidge (15 to 23), Joe Nathan (8 to 27), Jonathan Papelbon (5 to 16), Drew Storen (16 to 37)